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Local basil

gbtexdoc (217 posts) • 0

Am looking for local basil, but have not seen it in several wet markets. (I mean the fresh herb, not dried and packaged leaves or seeds.)

Am I just overlooking it? Isn't basil in common use here? So many other herbs are abundant and fresh at this time of year. Would expect basil to be among them.

Have found several dictionary words for it, but don't know what the most common varieties here are actually called in daily speech.

罗勒, 兰香, 苏菜/苏草, 九层塔, 千曽塔, etc.

Anyone been buying and using fresh local basil? Thanks in advance.

sbarella (105 posts) • 0

Usually people call it 罗勒 (if they know what it is, which doesn't happen very often). I have only seen fresh basil for sale at Metro, never in wet markets or other supermarkets. I have heard you can by the seeds on Taobao if you want to grow your own.

tigertiger - moderator (5084 posts) • 0

Yes, Metro has it. In the vegetalbe section in small clear plastic packs.
I have never seen basil used in local cuisine. I have also found that the taste of common European herbs is not very popular here.

As an aside, oregano grows wild and in abundance in Yunnan, but I have never seen it used in cooking. I guess the taste is not appreciated.

gbtexdoc (217 posts) • 0

Thanks, Sbarella and Tiger.

Looks like the bottom line is that, like you said, it's not popular in local cooking, and therefore seldom supplied except in venues frequented by foreigners.

It's popular in Thailand, and I had assumed ... (We all know that old saying about assumptions.)

I came across lightly roasted local pine nuts in the wet market near where I live a few days ago, and had visions of pesto.

But we sure do have a great supply of mint. Only 1 Yuan for a couple of generous hand-fulls.

bluppfisk (398 posts) • 0

judging from google images results, that's a very different plant. Are you sure it's basil they meant?

Xiefei (519 posts) • 0

It seems to be some kind of catch-all term for various fragrant plants that repel mosquitoes. I've definitely bought seed packs marked 驱蚊草 that had basil in the picture (you'll see a few scattered basil plants in the image results), and did grow out to be decent basil.

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